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Soybean: The magic wand for women

When it comes to adequate nutrition for women, soy protein could be the best and ultimate choice.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 21:55 IST

Quality of life is what we all want. Good health helps us achieve a high quality of life.

Good health can be achieved by consuming nutritive diet. People all around us today seem to be discussing their diets.

Food is a high priority item on the lifestyle agenda with a marked focus on healthy eating. "You are what you eat",

As we grow older and often become less physically active, the task of staying fit and trim becomes even more difficult, especially for woman.

Adequate nutrition is important for women not only because it helps them to be productive members of society, but also because of the direct effect maternal nutrition has on the health and development of the next generation.

Women have to combat numerous problems like Osteoporosis, Bone Fractures, menopausal symptoms and the fear of various cancers.

    Eve's best companion

Soyabean, a highly rich protein food plays a pivotal role in good health. It is one of the very few plant sources that provide a high quality protein with minimum saturated fat.

It has all the three macronutrients required for good nutrition as well as vitamins, minerals. Health Professionals consider soy protein as remarkable and good quality protein.

Soybean protein provides all the essential amino acids in the amounts needed for human health. It has a number of health benefits such as cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, fighting osteoporosis and menopause regulation.

Soy Protein and Bone Health

Osteoporosis is characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue leading to fragile bones and an increased susceptibility to fractures, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist.

Women are four times as likely as men to develop osteoporosis. One out of two women and one in eight men will have an osteoporosis related fracture at some time in their life.

Researchers have investigated and concluded that the potential effects of Soy protein on the cells are responsible for bone remodeling - osteoblasts, which form bone.

Soy protein with naturally occurring isoflavones has favourable effects on bone mineral density.

Soy Protein and Menopausal Symptoms

Menopause is a universal stage of life for all women. There are differences in symptoms experienced by many Asian and Western women at menopause.

It has been found that soy is more effective in preventing than alleviating hot flashes.

The North American Menopause Society in 2000 recommended that 40 - 80mg of isoflavones daily may help relieve menopausal symptoms. Soy is the healthy alternative to taking hormone replacement therapy and reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Soy Protein and Cancer

During the past several years, there has been much enthusiasm for the role soy may play in reducing risk of several types of cancer, particularly prostrate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.

Several lines of evidence suggest Soy and in particular isoflavones may help to reduce these risks. Daily consumption of Soymilk and Tofu respectively is associated with marked reduction (40- 65%) in risk.

Source of Soy Protein

One can have the intake of Soy protein from many options available in the market. Soy Protein can be obtained from Soy Milk, Soy Juices, Soy Nuts, Soy Puffs, Soy Oil, Soy Flour, Soy Powder, Soy granules.

The Indian soy products manufacturing industry along with the American Soybean Association is working diligently to research and produce tasty and nutritious soy products on an on-going basis.

Thus, it is clarified that women need special attention to maintain optimal health. There are numerous supplements that can assist women through menopause, protect against osteoporosis, and reduce cancer risks.

These include soy isoflavones, black cohosh, calcium and magnesium, and others.

Along with this, regular physical activity that is performed on most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness.

First Published: Jun 14, 2006 21:32 IST